Says Buhari does not share in the suffering of the people
The Catholic bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah has appealed to governors and other politicians to please abandon the spirit of selfish accumulation and embrace the principles of integrity and genuine service of our country.
In his Easter message titled: “Easter Message to Mr. President and all Nigerians”, Kukah said, the average age of Governors and Legislators across the country is 50. These are the years of dreams, maturity, sacrifice, patriotism and self-giving. But, sadly, they do not seem to be ready to depart from the culture of cronyism, pre-bendalism and primitive accumulation. The result has been ruination and decay.
To the political parties, Bishop Kukah said, “the parties have become notorious conveyor belts and incubators of hatred, intolerance and corruption of the worst kind, even against their own members.” For now, the political parties seem determined to rely on both Federal and State Government and Institutions to serve as their ATM machines. Tragically, this is why politics is toxic and totally unattractive to people of honour.
He called on Parties and their leaders to become true to their political claims as expressed in their Manifestoes, reduce the culture of godfatherism, and focus on building the foundation of a strong political culture.
Bishop Kukah did not spare the Religious leaders either: “We are all custodians of the faith and trust of our people. Sadly, we have proved to be as divided as the people we are supposed to lead. We have been seduced by powerful politicians and have allowed politics to corrupt the sacred spaces of religion. Thus we have lost our voices and no longer seem to have the capacity to interrogate power, as we are called to do.
“Religious leaders must avoid the temptation of being seduced by filthy lucre and power for personal or any other gain. We must seek the collective welfare of our people and develop a culture of neutrality that can inspire the confidence in our people in the power of religion to change society so that the common good is always sought and promoted.
To the ordinary people of Nigeria, the prelate urged them rise and defend your right to food and shelter because poverty is not a divine inheritance. Easter teaches us the message of love and of gentleness and of true strength. It tells us that to defend oneself does not mean to turn to violence or to any other misdeed or evil. But it means to recognize one’s dignity as a child of God and remember that each one is created and called to enjoy the fullness of life. Easter means to recognize one’s right to be considered and respected, it means being determined to stand up for what is right and just, it means being strong and steadfast, full of hope and full of love, both for oneself and for others. He encouraged them to shake off the shackles of bondage and free themselves so as to secure their future and their family.
To Mr. President, Bishop Kukah said he is too distant from the people. “There is a sad feeling that you do not share in the pain and suffering of your people. You must very quickly find a way of connecting with your people before the devil takes over the space,”
He noted that the country “is so split both vertically and horizontally today that all of us must honestly identify our many sins of omission and commission, so that we can honestly seek a solution.”
According to him, “This is a time for us to genuinely face what looks to me like an impending calamity. The gathering clouds are clear for us to see. And even those who cannot see can hear the rumbling and rolling sound of thunder. We ignore them at our own risk.”
Kukah regretted that although Buhari “rode into town like a knight in shining armour…the bogeyman of religion, region and ethnicity, which we thought we had overcome by the sheer nature of your support base, have come back with a vengeance to haunt and threaten the very foundation of our existence.”